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1.5 million soaps to be distributed during lockdown

SEPTEMBER 15, 2014 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

EOC Chief, Steven Gaojia

EOC Chief, Steven Gaojia

Coordinator of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) last Friday disclosed that a total of 1.5 million soaps will be distributed during the three-day lockdown across the country.

While updating journalists at the conference hall of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) on mechanisms put in place for the imminent national lockdown, Steven Gaojia said the rationale was to promote hand washing among Sierra Leoneans.

He assured that during the three-day period every household in the country will be visited by a three-man team of health workers and volunteers and provided with the correct and accurate information needed on the Ebola epidemic, while also soliciting community acceptance for those that have been affected by the disease.

“We are putting in place the structures and interventions to help improve upon the response to the disease, but that will take some time. The situation will definitely get worse before it can get better. What will happen during the three-day lockdown will be purely psycho-educational exercise,” he said, and noted that the international community is very much interested in the three-day lockdown.

Also speaking, Director of Communications in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Sidi Yahya Tunis, gave an update on the number of deaths as well as confirmed cases and survivors in the country.

He said there were twenty-six confirmed cases on 11 August: 14 from Port Loko, 1 each in Kenema, Kambia and Tonkolili; 2 in Bo; 3 in the Western Area Rural; and 4 in Western Area Urban.

He maintained that because they are expecting an upsurge in the number of confirmed cases, isolation centers will be increased, and that part of the Police Training School is currently being prepared to accommodate hundred beds for such purpose.

Meanwhile, Assistant Inspector General of Police in-charge of Corporate Affairs, Mustapha S. Kambeh, stated that the police are in preparedness to respond to any issue that might arise during the three-day period.

He, however, stressed that officers will not be deployed together with teams visiting households in order not to create fear in the minds of occupants.